Start the conversation
I recently went on a golf trip with some buddies at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Orlando, Fla. And a lesson I learned on the links relates to this wildly swinging market – to a "T."
My longtime readers know that I absolutely like playing the maddening game of golf. (Note: I did not say "love.") That slightly tempered affection comes from the fact that, for years, I never used my driver – years.
It was too much club with too little control, and in a precise game like golf, that spelled trouble. I'd line up my shots, wind into my picturesque backswing, and torque down into the impact position.
All good, right? Well, not for me. The result was a big move with no control. And I can't even begin to tell you the number of golf balls I lost trying my damnedest to get good with my driver.
So a month ago, when I was doing a loop at the Ritz-Carlton, I was grouped with a father and his son – both clearly better than me. After 12 holes, he took note that I hadn't used my driver.
I gave him the same explanation as above, "Big moves, no control."
Are You In? Chris Johnson's Infrared Index has already helped him rack up 3,605% in total winning recommendations in 2018 – but it's on pace to help boost his Night Trader portfolio by another 900% by Dec. 31. Read more…
He walked up to my bag, took out the driver, and inspected the back of the head before flashing a little, knowing smile.
Before I knew it, he whipped out a tool from his own bag and went to work. He was silent and studious as he tinkered with my driver. Then, after about three minutes of ratcheting and adjusting weights, Dave – that's his name – handed the club to me.
I thought to myself, "There's no way that off-the-cuff, three-minute tinkering is going to get me in the short grass."
Then, bam! 250-275 yards right down the middle. So much for unlucky number 13.
Next hole, bam! As if I had hit the thing on a rope. And so on and so forth.
The subtle changes to the club made all the difference in the world. Suddenly, I was pondering about joining the Pro-Am tour. That's the kind of moment I think all golfers have after a great stretch: "Holy cow, I am good!" (That's almost always a misguided thought.)
Anyway, you might be wondering why the hell I'm telling you this story. And no, it's not just to brag about being able to hit John Daly–style drives now.
I'm telling you this story because before Dave's tinkering, my driver and I were a lot like this market: big moves, no control.
Let me explain what I mean…
About the Author
Chris Johnson is a highly regarded equity and options analyst who has spent much of his nearly 30-year market career designing and interpreting complex models to help investment firms transform millions of data points into impressive gains for clients.
At heart Chris is a quant - like the "rocket scientists" of investing - with a specialty in applying advanced mathematics like stochastic calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and statistics to Wall Street's data-rich environment.
He began building his proprietary models in 1998, analyzing about 2,000 records per day. Today, that database, which Chris designed and coded from scratch, analyzes a staggering 700,000 records per day. It's the secret behind his track record.
Chris holds degrees in finance, statistics, and accounting. He worked as a licensed broker for 11 years before taking on the role of Director of Quantitative Analysis at a big-name equity and options research firm for eight years. He recently served as Director of Research of a Cleveland-based investment firm responsible for hundreds of millions in AUM. He is also the Founder/CIO of ETF Advisory Research Partners since 2007, noted for its groundbreaking work in Behavioral Valuation systems. Their research is widely read by leaders in the RIA business.
Chris is ranked in the top 99.3% of financial bloggers and top 98.6% of overall experts by TipRanks, the track record registry of financial analysts dating back to January 2009.
He is a frequent commentator on financial markets for CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg TV, and CBS Radio and has been featured in Barron's, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal, and numerous books.
Today, Chris is the editor of Night Trader and Strikepoint Trader and contributes to Money Morning as the Quant Analysis Specialist.